Mangaluru, Sep 10, 2016: It is frequently noted that trouble is reported in DK, Mangaluru district jail is common. Short staffed and overcrowded, the jail is more often than not in the news for all the wrong reasons. If it was the brutal murder of two undertrials at the jail in November 2015, news of an undertrial committing suicide a couple of days ago, would definitely not have soothed the frayed nerves of the jail staff. Repeated seizures of contraband including cellphones, ganja and improvised weapons makes matters worse.
Acknowledging the gravity of these problems, H N Sathyanarayana Rao, director-general of police (prisons) state that the major reason for these issues to repeatedly crop up is that the jail is severely short staffed. "We are regularly sending staff from other central and district prisons on deputation to meet this shortfall," he said, adding this is not a desirable solution. The staff on deputation do not get a grip of the complexities of the jail and understand in their short spells.
The belligerent attitude of few other jail staff, who got a stay on their transfer from the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal has hampered efforts on part of prisons department to reform the administrative set up in the jail. "The prisons department deemed transfer of staff necessary to improve jail administration," he said. Despite these routine administrative issues, the department is fully backing steps that V Krishnamurthy, the jail superintendent, is taking for improving the situation.
Acknowledging the backing from Sathyanarayana Rao, Krishnamurthy said he and the staff are pulling out all stops to function effectively within the various limitations they face. Detailed proposal have gone to the DGP seeking certain structural changes including a well secured interview room. Updating work on the interview room is under way. The prison staff brave the hostile inmates to carry out periodic searches to recover contraband, he asserted.
The department is tactically also using the Karnataka State Industrial Security Force. Crowding along with staff crunch is hampering proper correctional services in many places it is observed. Steps to speed up the shifting of the jail from the city centre here is vital.